your favourite English/mothertongue word

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by wanneszinnig, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    *Earth is inhabited by many life-forms, however it is discussed that life may have been brought to Earth enclosed in a meteor.
    *All life-forms on Earth are carbon based, but some scientists as well as science-fiction writers speculate that it is possible for life on other planets to be based on silicon or another likely chemical element.
     
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    It wasn't meant to be a K sound. In America we use KH to spell the sound of the Cyrillic letter X, and the equivalent Arabic letter. We're not consistent, we use CH for the Greek letter that has the same form and pronunciation, but then we usually pronounce that as a K, as in "psyche." Same for the Hebrew letter kheth: sholem alechem, not alekhem. We know that German ach has the same sound, but most of us don't know that the CH in ich is a different, rare phoneme. Many of us know that Spanish J is pronounced that way, but more of us pronounce it as an H. And there are probably only a hundred of us who know that Romanian spells that sound with an H.

    For this reason I usually transcribe that sound, a voiceless fricative, as KH. I should have known that one day someone would misinterpret even that.

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    "Hard" sci-fi writers (scientists who write fiction) have postulated alien life based on gases, liquids, crystals, and pure energy. James P. Hogan wrote about one that looked to us like a bunch of highly advanced machinery--and they had invented technology using a substance they had created artificially which looked to us like organic tissue. Each race assumed the other was the leftover artifacts from a long-dead species that resembled itself, when in fact each had proven the other's theory of abiogenesis.

    I never heard the term "lifeform" used until Star Trek. Before that we got along just fine with the word "species."

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  5. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Oh? I've never seen a StarTrek film. I think I first heard that word in a song by Enigma.
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    You haven't missed anything. Only the first one was any good IMHO. The original "Star Trek" was a TV series in the late 1960s. Although "Star Trek: The Next Generation," which ran in the late 1980s and was set about 80 years into the first one's future, had the largest audience and the greatest critical acclaim. Largely because it starred British Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart. Never have so many women been sci-fi fans.

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  8. temur man of no words Registered Senior Member

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    Enterprise is also good. I like it mainly because of Seven of Nine and Captain Janeway. Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) is now in Shark. I don't know where Captain Janeway is.
     
  9. Learned Hand Registered Senior Member

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    Wanker.

    British slang for:

    1. A detestable person;
    2. A masturbator.

    I had a real good friend from England when I was an undergrad, and nothing amazed me more than his accentual usage of the word. In American English, the idiom is never quite the same.
     
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That was Voyager. Enterprise had T'pol, the Vulcan, played by Jolene Blalock.

    I liked Voyager because of the yin/yang aspect. Male starship captains are daddies, taking the kids out on exciting but risky adventures. Capt. Janeway was the mommy: all she wanted to do was bring her kids home safely--even the "orphan" she picked up along the way. When they finally made it back, it was the sweetest finale of all the Star Trek series.
     
  11. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

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    Wizened.

    withered or shrivelled

    Now for the Mothertongue (Strine) Didjabringyagroggalong.

    It's phonetic and self explanatory.
     
  12. Blue_UK Drifting Mind Valued Senior Member

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    I like the German word 'Schlampe' (pronouced shlamper) because it sounds so good. It sort of means 'slut' but it so offensive that a better translation would be 'nasty drunken whore'.

    But I'm not German, so my English word would be 'Debauchery'.
     
  13. wanneszinnig God doesn't work 2day Registered Senior Member

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    What does that mean? Is Strine the name of your mothertongue? Where is it spoken?
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    You must be British and "non-rhotic", meaning your final R's are silent. We pronounce them on this side so we'd spell that SHLAHM-puh.
    Debauchery is an activity in which both men and women can participate--and besides, it is the word for the activity, not the person performing it. It sounds like a woman my parents would have called a "tramp," but that word has been out of vogue for half a century. In America today, people tend to use terms for other regional or social classes as insults. In a group of college graduates with professional jobs, we'd probably call her "trailer trash." (A trailer is a small mobile home intended for camping vacations, but the poor park them in small communities on the outskirts of towns and live in them.)
    I know, I know! "Strine" is the word "Australian," spoken quickly by a drunken Aussie! They tend to turn their long A's into I's.
     
  15. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

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    Goodonya Fraggle Rocker, The drunken Aussie crowd erupts, cries of "Struthmateyerabloodylegend" "smarderthantheaverageSeppo" etc. ring out!

    I was actually being frivolous when I quoted Strine as my Mothertongue as I sadly only have one language but on reflection, it is my other language and I guarantee a couple of Australians could have a whole conversation without other English speaking folks knowing what the hell they were on about.

    Strine refers to the vernacular way of stringingallthewordstogetherwithout takingabreak. Add to that the general loose usage of the language and the abbreviations and the bastardised vowels and you have Strine.

    Most Australians pronounce Australia something like astraya but Ashtraya is very common as is Shtraya.
     
  16. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    soliloquy

    Main Entry: so·lil·o·quy
    Pronunciation: \sə-ˈli-lə-kwē\
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural so·lil·o·quies
    Etymology: Late Latin soliloquium, from Latin solus alone + loqui to speak
    Date: circa 1613
    1 : the act of talking to oneself
    2 : a dramatic monologue that represents a series of unspoken reflections
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007
  17. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    ooo, that is a pretty word. it flows nicely.
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    And its definition and origin are...?
     
  19. Frud11 Banned Banned

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    “Ostray-leeyins” don't pronounce the neutral phoneme the same as most of the other English speakers. They don't say Sid-nee, but Seed-nee, and the substituted phoneme (first ee) is shorter. They pronounce words like league (leeg), as luh-eeg too. Their vowels become diphthongs a lot.
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That's not a "neutral phoneme," it's an English short I, the IPA symbol of a lower-case I with no dot. (Sorry I can't use those symbols with my browser.) The neutral vowel phoneme is the schwa: the A in ultrasound, the E in bracketing, the first I in efficacious, the O in pterodactyl, the U molybdenum. The IPA symbol is the upside-down lower-case E and it's named after a vowel with the same sound in Ancient Hebrew, which in Modern Hebrew adds to the confusion by being silent.
    Americans pronounce that as a diphthong too, but a different one, more like leeyg. Listen to a cardinal I in Spanish or French and you'll hear a monophthong, a cleaner sound than ours that doesn't shift into a semivowel at the end.
    English vowels are pronounced quite different in the various countries. For the most part the Australian versions are not too dissimilar from our American versions, with notable exceptions like Aus-TRI-lia, a sound you hear in some British dialects as well. In "My Fair Lady," Professor Higgins was trying to teach Liza Doolittle to say "take" instead of "tyke." It's confusing to hear a Brit say can, hock, talk, because they sound like con, hawk, toke to us.
     
  21. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    cornucopia

    Function: noun
    Etymology: Late Latin, from Latin cornu copiae horn of plenty
    Date: 1508
    1 : a curved goat's horn overflowing with fruit and ears of grain that is used as a decorative motif emblematic of abundance
    2 : an inexhaustible store : abundance
    3 : a receptacle shaped like a horn or cone
     

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